8, 2011 Drunk
driver who sped wrong way down M5 past Burnham is jailed
A drunken woman who drove the wrong way for 23 miles
along the M5 motorway past Burnham-On-Sea has been jailed for
nine months this week.
Deborah Hunt, 43, from Langport, drove north on the southbound
carriageway of the motorway in July, from Bridgwater towards Weston.
She was twice over the drink-drive limit and had no insurance,
Bristol Crown Court was told.
Hunt pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, driving under the influence
of alcohol and without insurance.
was also banned from driving for 15 months and will be required
to take an extended driving test.
She wept in the dock as Judge Mark Horton said he would be failing
in his public duty if he did not jail her immediately for so serious
Judge Horton said it was "unbelievably fortunate" no-one
had been killed or injured by her as she drove at 60mph in the
dark after 11pm.
The court heard that Hunt, an unemployed former financial adviser,
was suffering from alcoholism and stress caused by her unemployment.
She is also fighting her ex-husband for custody of their children.
Hunt joined the motorway at junction 24 and briefly headed south
before doing a U-turn and driving north.
She drove along the outside lane of the motorway before eventually
coming to a halt on the hard shoulder. She was found by police
near junction 21 at Weston on the hard shoulder struggling to
restart the engine of her partner's Peugeot 806.
Horton said Hunt had caused "terror" to other motorists.
Supt Ian Smith from Avon and Somerset Police said: "Deborah
Hunt was lucky not to have killed someone or herself. Drink-driving
is in itself an inherently dangerous act but to drive on a motorway
contrary to the flow of traffic is an outrageously perilous act
that could have resulted in the most catastrophic of consequences."
"What makes this more appalling is the lack of regard she
has shown in terms of the consequences of her criminal actions
that may have resulted in her own death or serious injury."
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